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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Monday, June 18, 2007

Tribunal slams Arawa settlement

The Maori Party says the government has to develop a new treaty settlement process.

Last week a Waitangi Tribunal panel called for the Auckland settlement with Ngati Whatua to be put on hold, and today another panel has slammed the proposed Te Arawa settlement for land around Rotorua.

It said the Office of Treaty Settlements had failed to act as an honest broker, and the package it offered to Ngai Kaihautu o Te Arawa should be modified to protect the interests of hapu which did not sign on to the negotiations.

Pita Sharples says the tribunal is showing up how the government is pitting iwi against iwi.

He says it's a crooked system where the Crown chooses who wins and who loses.

“The only real way is if all Maori turn their back on the process now and insist on a restructuring of the whole process so you don’t pit Maori against Maori, so that every hapu can be included, because every hapu was involved in the confiscations and the taking of land,” Dr Sharples says.

He says unless the government develops a new process, it will be unable to meet its 2020 deadline for settlement of historical claims.


One of the people tagged by Michael Laws as a gang apologist says the Wanganui mayor should look for solutions to gang problems rather than attack those who are trying to help.

In his Sunday newspaper column on the arrests of 12 Mongrel Mob members for the murder of 2-year-old Jhia Te Tua , Mr Laws singled out local MP Tariana Turia, fellow Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and social worker Dennis O'Reilly for trying to turn gang members around.

Mr O'Reilly says the mayor's comments can't be taken seriously.

“Pita, Tariana and others are doing real ground up work, serious stuff, and it’s making good progress. It’s sad that the community there is really cut a lot of its young people off, and it’s a question of trying to reengage them, get them back to being decent kiwis, mums and dads,” he says.


Now we've had the first new moon after the rising of the constellation Matariki or Pleides in the morning sky, Te Papa has kicked off two weeks of events in Wellington to mark the Maori new year.

Organiser Mere Boyton says they include concerts, seminars, workshops, kapa haka and a Matariki Gala at the end of the month.
She says the museum will also put the event in its Pacific context.

“Matariki is also celebrated by people in Hawaii, Japan, depending on when Pleiades appears in their skies, and it’s a tradition that involves kai and also involves a lot of ceremonies,” Ms Boynton says.

Other museums around the country also have special Marariki programmes.


A Maori lawyer believes the way the claims process was set up is the cause of problems with treaty settlements in Auckland and Rotorua.

The Waitangi Tribunal says the Tamaki Makaurau settlement with Ngati Whatua o Orakei should be put on hold until other Auckland claimants are dealt with, and the settlement with Nga Kaihautu of Te Arawa should only go ahead with major modifications to protect the interests of other Te Arawa hapu.

Moana Jackson says the Office of Treaty Settlements is working to a script it wrote a decade ago.

“The flaws in the Fiscal Envelope are now well catalogued, and that needs to be reviewed again, because as the process goes on within the Fiscal Envelope those iwi that are at the end of the queue are going to have less resource available to settle their grievances,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the settlement model is causing unnecessary division among iwi.


Maori children with weight problems are being targeted by the Canterbury District Health Board.

It comes after the Government-backed Healthy Eating Action programme realised it wasn't reaching Maori and Polynesian children, who have a high risk of obesity.

Its strategy is now being rejigged to include increased promotion of breastfeeding among Maori and Pacific Island mothers.

It's also extending the fruit in schools programme, and giving more training to health professionals who promote healthy diet and exercise.

Here's campaign development manager, Cathy Robinson

“We are prioritizing Maori and Pacific. That’s key to all the work that’s happening in HEA, to reduce inequalities. And also looking at primary and secondary care, so that’s where it first in with child and young persons and whanau, to make sure that we’re looking at that holistically,” Ms Robinson says.


Traditional Maori sounds will be woven this week with classical instrumentation in new works by composer Gillian Whitehead.

The works will be performed in the Auckland Town Hall concert chamber tomorrow and Te Papa in Wellington on Thursday by Tuhonohono, a chamber group including flute, bassoon, cello, piano, and taonga puoro player Richard Nunns.

Ms Whitehead says she is trying to develop pieces which blend her Maori and European background.

She says that leads to new ways of working, such as in the piece Hine Te Kakara, writen with Aroha Yates-Smith.

“There's a composition if hers embedded in a composition of mine, with Richard Nunns’ sounds weaving the two compositions together, so it’s like three different inputs,” Ms Whitehead says.


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